9. Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House took seven years to build from 1900 to 1907. The seven story Beaux Art building spans three blocks in lower Manhattan on the former site of Fort Amsterdam. The facade has forty-four columns, each with a statue of the Roman God of commerce, Mercury. The interior of the building nods at New York’s seaport origins with many sea creatures, shells, and sea signs that can be seen throughout the building, fitting since the site was also the location of steamship offices prior to the construction of the customs house.
Due to the prosperity of New York’s trade center, Cass Gilbert was chosen to design the building out of the twenty other architects who submitted designs. Custom houses were buildings that housed government workers who filed paperwork related the the importing and exporting of goods.
The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House was declared a National Historic Landmark and has since been turned into the National Museum of the American Indian that people may visit to learn more about the history of American Indians and view artifacts. The building also houses an outpost for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, where New Yorkers can go to renew their passports or sign up for services such as Global Entry.